Mets Merized Online » Bay Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:29:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Owners Dodge Huge Debt Payment, New Loan In Place Sat, 22 Feb 2014 15:33:42 +0000 Outside a miraculous recovery by Matt Harvey, the New York Mets have the best possible news today. On the day of their first full squad workout, the Mets finalized their refinancing, reported The New York Post.

So, if Fred and Jeff Wilpon are spotted smiling on one of the fields in Port St. Lucie, you’ll know why.

The Wilpon family, stung in the Ponzi scandal, were five weeks from having to make a $250 million payment on an expiring loan. Had the loan been called, it is questionable whether the Mets could have come up with the money.

wilpon collinsReportedly, the Mets lost $10 million last season, but with their payroll to be under $100 million for a third straight year and Major League Baseball’s new television contract, they could turn a profit this season.

The new loan, which is for five years and headed by Bank of America, is for the Libor average plus 3.25 percent. According to the report, the Mets did not have to pay down their former loan to make this one happen or shell out one shiny nickel.

The Mets, who are currently valued at $1 billion, still need to have Major League Baseball approve the deal, which will be a formality.

Irving Picard, who was assigned to recovering funds for victims in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scandal, initially sued the Wilpons for $1 billion, which would have necessitated selling the Mets. However, the courts reduced that to $386 million.

The Mets’ financial restraints were loosened this winter with the signings of Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon and Chris Young. However, that did not represent any new spending, but merely replacing some of the dollars freed up by expiring contracts on Jason Bay and Johan Santana.

While that was an encouraging sign, as is the re-financing, don’t expect a spending spree next winter and the team to return to the days of a $143 million payroll.

If the Mets are competitive this season with a $90 million payroll, they will likely increase spending in small increments. At least that’s the hope.

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Granderson Stands By His Statement That True New Yorkers Are Mets Fans Mon, 27 Jan 2014 00:53:32 +0000 curtis granderson]

After signing his new four-year deal with the Mets, outfielder Curtis Granderson created a stir – especially in the Yankees blogosphere – when he said “true New Yorkers are Mets fans.”

Keven Kernan of the New York Post caught up with Grandy while he was visiting the children at Nathan Hale Elementary and Heritage Middle Schools in Chicago.

Granderson said he has no regrets about his statement. In fact, he feels even stronger about his words now.

“My comment wasn’t a dig at anybody, it was just some things that people said to me on a consistent basis,’’ Granderson said. “I’m excited to see the New York sports fans that are Mets fans come out in droves. I’ve heard great things about the past, and now to get a chance to be a part of it in the present and the future, I’m very optimistic about it.”

“It feels awesome to be introduced as a Met,’’ Granderson told the students. Asked about the Yankees he said, “I’m looking to beat the Yankees when we play them. We play them four times in the season and who knows, we might play them in the biggest series of them all, the World Series.’’

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon who made the trip to Chicago to support Granderson’s foundation, agreed, and said he’s excited for what Granderson brings to the Mets.

“I thought it was a great comment,” Wilpon said. “I knew it was going to be controversial, but he’s speaking from the heart, and if that’s what he feels, guess what, he’s the type of guy who can back it up. He’s a Met now. He’s turned the page. Curtis brings an outside view to the organization, and that’s a good thing. I’m very happy to get to know him.’’

Granderson recognizes the need to back up those comments on the field, and he is excited to be in a leadership role with the Mets, writes Kernan.

I’m loving this guy so much already even though he has yet to take one swing in a Mets uniform. Something about him feels right as opposed to when we signed Jason Bay. Maybe it’s the fact he missed most of last season with freak injuries and all he can do is go up from there, but I believe it’s his personality which seems to be just right for this team and this town.

Presented By Diehards

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As Mets Get Closer To Spring Training, How’s Your Enthusiasm? Mon, 13 Jan 2014 18:35:36 +0000 terry collins spring training

How are you feeling about the Mets these days, are you excited about the moves we’ve made so far? Are you looking forward to the start of Spring Training and are you pumped for the new season?

I asked our staff what their enthusiasm was like as we get closer and closer to pitchers and catchers reporting in four weeks. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Peter K. – I have been so jaded over the failures big free agent signings by the Mets over the years that I am so scared of Curtis Granderson turning into Jason Bay. I really hope I am wrong, and there are indications to believe that his contract will play out better than Bay’s, if only for the first two years. I have read a lot of analysis regarding the Bartolo Colon signing and I can only conclude that 2 years and $20 Million was the going rate for a pitcher of his pedigree, even at the ripe old age of 41.

Tommy R. – This offseason has been about other money coming off the books and the Wilpons deciding not to try to stuff every last penny into their drained pockets. But I am very excited about the new additions. Our team looks pretty good, although it would look much nicer if our ace weren’t out for the year.

Zack – Enthusiasm is high. It has been a huge relief to see the Mets go out there and make some legitimate moves to improve the team. It doesn’t make them automatic contenders, but it’s nice to see them heading in the right direction.

Jessep – I think any Mets fan who is at least not excited for Opening Day is missing the point. Do I think over the last few weeks the Mets became a title contender? No. But I do think they are heading toward legitimacy, and competitive late season baseball. The teams that try to become an overnight title contender normally fail. They are using free agency in the way it’s currently intended to be used. They still have work to do, but anybody who doubted the Mets intentions this off-season by saying they wouldn’t spend money and wouldn’t bring anybody in has been proven wrong.

Barry – Definitely more excited, but if the Mets are to contend, it will take not only good years from the new additions but major contributions from players like Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares, and a couple of the young relievers as well as upgrades on the bench.

John G. – Overall I am pretty excited to see if it is going to pay off or not. As far as the players that have signed on here I have to say that Granderson excites me the most. There is so much he brings to the table in terms of clubhouse and leadership but will it all translate well on the field? I am not sure if he will be able to belt 40 homers but he will certainly have his fair share of extra-base hits which is exciting in their own right. As we have heard over the years there was money to spend after some contracts came off the books and it is good to see that they are spending it.

Joe S. – Alderson like most GM’s, plays everything close to the vest. Why tell everyone you have cash to spend? It’s like announcing you keep your doors unlocked at night – you’re bound to have someone try to rake you over the coals – that means you Bronson Arroyo. I’m perfectly fine with the deals that have been offered so far. Alderson isn’t offering the moon but is offering slightly more than market value. Spending just to say you’ve spent is as foolish as not spending at all. Sometimes you have to pull the trigger and so far he’s doing that.

Matt B. – I am guardedly enthused. it’s tough to buy into enthusiasm after the past few seasons, but I really like Chris Young and Grandy added to our outfield.

TexasGusCC – Enthusiasm is much greater, about two times greater, and I will give the Chris Young signing a chance. However, I’m still not excited with the shortstop situation or happy with the same cast of characters still being our first base options.

Andrew – I’m very enthused. Three weeks ago there was such a doom and gloom atmosphere around the team, and Sandy’s purported $30 million budget for this offseason seemed like a faraway fantasy we would never reach. Three free agents later, we’ve passed $30 million (7.5 for Young + 13 for Granderson + 10 for Colon = $30.5 million added to the 2013 payroll) and Sandy doesn’t appear done. We have an exciting outfield with both offensive and defensive upside, a recent Cy Young candidate, and the potential to make additional acquisitions via trade (either directly in exchange Davis, or indirectly by signing someone with the cap space freed by his departure). Of course there’s a risk – there always is – but for the first time in years I feel like there’s a not-outlandish chance we could compete for a playoff spot if we get a few lucky breaks. Some will say a payroll south of $90 million is unacceptable in New York, and we may not agree about whether Sandy’s done enough to field a winner. But I think most of us will agree he’s done more than we expected him to.

Tom W. – The team is marginally better, though clearly improved. All three signings are the kind of guys you add to a strong core, which the Mets do not possess. Can this get them to .500? Maybe.

Gerry – My enthusiasm has definitely been given a boost by the recent acquisitions which I hope are indicative of greater financial health on the part of the organization. Although work remains to be done in terms of fortifying the bullpen, the infield, and the bench, I no longer am of the mindset that the team will be continually sifting through the bargain bin for spare parts. Hope it works and hope it lasts.

Big Mets Fan – I’m not sold by any means on the Chris Young, but I’m very optimistic about the Granderson and Colon acquisitions. Grandy gives protection to David Wright in the lineup, and while he doesn’t hit for a high average, he generates runs and knows how to win. Colon at two years isn’t a huge risk and gives the Mets a solid 4 starters without having to rely on one of the young guys to have to come through right away.

Xtreem – This is a team on the rise. Grandy will help anchor the lineup for a while while Young and Colon on short, low risk deals will bridge to some of the highly touted prospects. It’s a better team now, for sure. That said, all FAs come with risks and there’s a chance these guys get hurt. In the present time, they are all good signings.

Jacob R. – Sandy has done his job and convinced me that this team is headed in the right direction. I am looking forward to seeing two power bats in the outfield and a proven All-Star in the rotation. LGM 2014.

Presented By Diehards

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Jason Bay Likely To Retire Sat, 11 Jan 2014 23:03:55 +0000 jason bay

Former Mets outfielder Jason Bay tells Shi Davidi of that he does not foresee a situation where he would continue his playing career and so he is “essentially retiring”.

Bay had contemplated an offer to play in Japan, however the 35-year old believes it is time to focus on family.

Bay finishes his career with a .266/.360/.481 slash, 222 career home runs and 754 RBIs in 1278 games over 11 years.

Prior to the 2010 season, Bay signed a 4-year, $66 million deal with the Mets, ending in disaster. The two parties agreed to part ways in November of 2012.

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MMO Fan Shot: Replacing What Was Lost, Will $29.25 Million Suffice? Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:30:53 +0000 fred wilpon

An MMO Fan Shot by Ryan Flanagan

Recent off-seasons for the Metropolitans have been full of angst, speculation and in the end, money unspent and fans restless. As the Mets were a top three spender of all MLB franchises just a few years ago, the team’s off-the-field financial decisions, most notably the participation in the ill-famed Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff, have limited the club’s ability to take on payroll in recent years.

The team has strayed from handing big money contracts to top-tier free agents and has instead taken a course of building through the draft, grooming prospects to field a perennial contender similar to that baseball team a borough away did in the late 1990s.

The 2013 offseason was, as promised the past couple seasons by the front office, supposed to be the fruitful acquisition of talent to make the Mets a legit contender entering the 2014 season. An injury to Matt Harvey had derailed much of the hope that this team could in fact contend this year, but it still should have had no impact on who the team was set to acquire towards the future. As we stand at the turn of the calendar year, have the Mets offseason moves warranted any excitement? Moreover, have the Mets offseason moves even replaced what was lost? For that, we analyze:

The 2013 season was certainly a career year for Marlon Byrd. Signed to be a backup’s backup, the Mets had no intention of Byrd, coming off suspension for using estrogen to mask PEDs, to produce anywhere near what he accomplished last year. In a split season for the Mets and Pirates, Byrd hit .291 with 24 home runs and 88 RBIs. That, at a payroll cost of only $700,000. (Even less to the Mets, who shipped him to Pittsburgh for a quarter of the season and with a pro-rated share of the remaining owed salary. His replacement will be making $12,300,000 more than Byrd did in 2013.

Last season was a also monumental year for young ace Matt Harvey. His first full rookie season provided the most buzz around the Mets since 2006 notching 178.1 IP with 191 SOs and a dazzling 2.27 ERA. To the dismay of Met fans everywhere and any true fan of the game, Harvey’s season was tragically cut short with a need for Tommy John surgery, shelving Matt for the entire 2014 season.

Both these players, the team’s most productive pitcher and arguably the team’s most productive hitter in 2013, are not on the roster for 2014. So, what have the Mets done to replace that production? Enter Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson.


Pressured to make a move, the Mets quietly acquired Granderson coming off his worst and most injury-plagued season notching just 7 HRs and 15 RBIs over 60 games. The prior year, Granderson smashed 43 home runs and netted 106 RBIs in the friendly and borderline laughable confines of Yankee Stadium’s “Little League” dimensions. Pull-happy home runs don’t occur with frequency at Citi Field, and Granderson stands a much better chance to hit doubles and triples than the long ball.

Playing the opposite corner outfield position, Chris Young was signed on a one year, 7.25 million dollar deal coming off his worst offensive season to date batting just .200 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs. The Mets are hoping to rekindle Young’s 2010 All-Star caliber season in which he hit 27 home runs and 91 RBIs in Arizona.

Lastly, in an attempt to replace Harvey’s loss in the rotation, the Mets signed 40+ year old Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million dollar contract coming off a season that was arguably better than his 2005 Cy Young performance, notching a 2.65 ERA over 190.1 innings. The “Big 3” offseason moves equate to a tune of $29.25 million in payroll acquisitions for 2014 with Granderson making $13 million, Colon making $9 million and Young making $7.25 million in 2014.

2013 was also the year of addition-by-subtraction in that the Mets freed themselves from Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Frank Francisco’s contracts to a tune of roughly $50 million dollars. That’s $50 million dollars that came off the books towards 2014 of which only $29.25 million has been replaced to-date. That’s a difference of $18.75 million dollars.

The Mets have failed to replace the payroll that was freed this offseason, even though on the surface it appears the Mets have certainly spent. Does this mean that the Mets will surely fail? Absolutely not.

It is, however, rather disturbing that the Mets, whom play in the largest market in the nation and have a fanbase that ranks in the Top 5 in spending power and strength in numbers, fail to maintain a payroll in the top half of MLB franchises.

The fact that this was the “big offseason” where they had all that money coming off the books to spend, and so far in early January have failed to even replace what was lost, is disturbing.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Ryan Flanagan. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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A Healthy Harvey Would Give Mets A Top 5 Starting Rotation Mon, 30 Dec 2013 20:00:13 +0000 Justin_Verlander

ESPN’s Buster Olney continued his Top 10 Feature and posted the Top 10 Starting Rotations. Leading the pack was the Detroit Tigers, but the Mets failed to make the cut.

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

3. Washington Nationals

4. St. Louis Cardinals

5. Pittsburgh Pirates

6. Oakland Athletics

7. Texas Rangers

8. Atlanta Braves

9. Cincinnati Reds

10. Tampa Bay Rays (for now)

Honorable mentions went to the Miami Marlins, Boston Red Sox, and the Seattle Mariners, if they happen to land Masahiro Tanaka.

The Mets didn’t make the list, but when asked by Matt Cerrone how they would rank with a healthy Matt HarveyOlney tweeted that the Mets would definitely be a Top 10, and probably Top 5 rotation. 

matt harvey

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Giants Sign Michael Morse To One-Year Deal Thu, 12 Dec 2013 15:03:45 +0000 michael morseThe Giants have agreed to sign Michael Morse to a one-year deal, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. Terms were not yet released at time of this writing.

Morse is coming off an injury marred season in which he batted .215/.270/.381 with 13 homers playing for the Mariners and Orioles. It was a far cry from his career norms when he posted a .296/.345/.516 slash with 64 homers during his 2010-2012 seasons.

The big thing here for the Mets is that it’s another first base option that is off the boards which should bode well in the long run for Sandy Alderson who is looking to get the most he can for Ike Davis.

The Mets continue to aggressively shop their first baseman, but the club does not expect a trade completed by the conclusion of the Winter Meetings today.

Alderson said yesterday, that he won’t move Davis unless it improves the team. “Let me emphasize one thing: We’re not in the business of giving players away,” the Mets general manager said.

There was a report yesterday from Jim Duquette, that three teams remain in the mix for Davis and they are the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Presented By Diehards

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Colon Signing Could Elevate Mets To Wild Card Contender Status Thu, 12 Dec 2013 02:50:26 +0000 LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Who knew? The New York Mets were straight with us when they said they weren’t finished as they announced the signing of Bartolo Colon today to a two-year, $20-million contract.

Just like that, the Mets addressed a massive hole in their rotation. Should the 40-year-old Colon pitch anything like he did last year with Oakland, the Mets all of a sudden must be elevated to at least wild-card contender status. Yes, I said it.

bartolo colonSeriously, they’ve added enough, and if their existing talent improves, the Mets can realistically be expected to be better. They didn’t add young, vibrant expensive names, but added enough talent to where they should be taken seriously.

They aren’t on a par with Washington and Atlanta for the NL East Division lead, but the additions of Curtis Granderson and Colon should be worth at least seven more victories this season, and perhaps more when Matt Harvey returns in 2015.

The Mets won 74 games last year, and reaching .500 would take at least one more victory a month, which is entirely doable. With two wild card slots, .500 or slightly better will make October possible.

Colon’s age is somewhat of a gamble, because, after all, how long can he go? Even so, he’s been an innings-eater, which is exactly what the Mets need. Colon was second in the AL in ERA at 2.65 and finished sixth in the Cy Young balloting.

The Mets’ rotation now consists of Colon, Jon NieseZack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. Each comes with questions:

* Colon: He can’t last forever, but has showed no signs of breaking down. Three straight solid seasons that no Met can boast over the last five years.

* Niese: He’s coming off shoulder surgery and has an injury history in his short career. But there’s no doubting his bulldog mentality on the mound and desire to win games.

* Wheeler: Manager Terry Collins said Wheeler could be capable of 200 innings. That’s a little ambitious considering the leash Harvey was on last year, but if he develops as hoped the Mets will have something special.

* Gee: Pitched 199 innings last year. Can he do it again? Why not? Gee is underrated, but a valuable commodity.

Colon brings a lot to the table, including a calming, veteran presence that can only benefit Wheeler and Harvey next season.

What he also does is buy time until Noah Syndergaard is ready. The Mets still need a fifth starter, which could be Jenrry Mejia if he’s healthy, or they could force-feed Rafael Montero. (That wouldn’t be a bad thing.)

In another development, Seattle signed Corey Hart away from Milwaukee, which leaves the Brewers needing a first baseman. Yes, the Brewers have been linked to Ike Davis, but word is they want to make a run at Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney.

Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are all in the market for first basemen.

I don’t expect the Mets to deal Davis by the end of the week, but then again, nobody anticipated them landing a name starter this week.

* Joe D. contributed to part of this report.

Presented By Diehards

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The Curtis Granderson Story: Have We Seen This Movie Before? Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:32:53 +0000 We’ve been waiting all winter for our team to do something. Yesterday, our inactive front office became active by signing Curtis Granderson for 4 years/$60 million. But is the waiting over? Will this be our only major move or will it be the first of several? Is this the first baby step in bringing a winner back to Flushing or purely window-dressing?

I’ve been a vocal outspoken critic of Sandy Alderson since his arrival. However, when Alderson does something positive, such as re-signing David Wright — something I never thought he’d pull off — I tip my hat to him.

With the Granderson signing, however, it’s different. I applaud Alderson and the Wilpon’s for bringing him over. No matter what, we’re a better team now than we were 48 hours ago. However, Granderson alone will not turn us into instant champions. But I still have concerns, many concerns.


Back in 1985, Paramount Pictures turned the board game Clue into a motion picture. When they distributed it to theatres, there were three different endings. I feel that the acquisition of Granderson is a movie I’ve already seen. I’m just unsure of the ending. Will it be a Pedro Martinez ending or a Jason Bay ending?

In 2005, the Mets signed Pedro Martinez. It was a “statement.” Omar Minaya laid down the gauntlet to the NL that the Mets were serious. One month later, he added Carlos Beltran, awarding him the most lucrative contract in team history.

Martinez was our ace that first year. He was the team leader in wins (15), IP (217), K’s (208) and ERA (2.82.) Yet, most fans look back and view this signing as a bust. Over the remaining three years of his contract, Pedro would only win 17 more games, average 90 IP while compiling a 4.22 ERA. Minaya’s “statement” was, for all intents and purposes, window-dressing. We generally regard the Martinez-Mets relationship as a failure.

Five years later our fan base and the NY media was itching for Minaya to do something else, something big. The 2009 Mets stumbled and stumbled badly. It was the first time in half a decade we finished below .500 (70-92). And while the Mets christened their new stadium, fans in the Bronx were treated to yet another Championship. The pressure mounted, Minaya caved and made a move because he felt he needed to do something. That something was named Jason Bay.


I’m not really going out on a limb here when I say Bay won’t ever join Keith or Rusty or Piazza as one of the most beloved Mets of all time. Almost immediately he caught the ire of the fans and became the poster boy for everything wrong with the Minaya regime. Seemingly from day one, we were biding our time to be free of his salary.

Hindsight, however, is 20/20. Bay arrived in Flushing a top run producer in the game. He was one of the most sought after Free Agents that winter. Yet, he quickly learned that Citi Field is the place where power hitters go to die. Just look at the decreased power production of David Wright since ‘09.

What’s worrisome is the fact that Bay’s numbers in the 4 years prior to coming to New York are far better than Granderson’s over his previous 4 years. It’s doubly worrisome due to the fact Granderson played those 4 years in the launching pad known as Yankee Stadium.


Bay was 31 when he donned a Mets jersey for the first time. Granderson will be 33.

I can’t help but feel that Alderson made this move due to the pressure to do something. I hope I’m wrong. I hope there will be a few more transactions to make this club relevant again. But I don’t see it. What I do see, however, is a double standard.

In 2011, Jose Reyes stated he wanted to stay in NY, the team he came up with. Negotiations dragged on and on. In spite of Reyes being one of the most beloved players in team history and already being near or at the top of numerous offensive categories, after eight seasons Alderson wanted to see more. Reyes went out and became the first Mets player to win a batting title. His .337 BA is third highest since 1962. Yet, Alderson made jokes about sending chocolates while Reyes packed up his batting title and headed south. Here we are two years later, still without a suitable replacement.


I alluded to it being a double standard. One concern that Alderson expressed (and understandably so) was Reyes’ history of injuries. However, with the acquisition of Granderson, that is apparently no longer a concern. In the 7 year span from 2005-2011, Reyes played in 928 games. In the 7 year period of 2007-2013 Granderson played in 972 games—a difference of only 44 games over 7 seasons. If Alderson had concerns about Reyes’ health, Granderson isn’t exactly Cal Ripken. Although Granderson averaged only six more games per year than Reyes, suddenly Alderson is NOT concerned about health.

Sarah Palin

When Jose Reyes batted .337 with 181 hits, an OBP of .384 and slugging percentage of .493 in 126 games, Alderson morphed into Sarah Palin: Thanks, but no thanks. When Granderson plays in 61 games, batting .229 with 49 hits, an OBP of .317 and a slugging percentage of .407, Alderson has no qualms about handing over $60 million. Alderson refused to sign a 28 year-old Reyes for 5-6 years. Yet, he signs a 33-year old Granderson for four years and coming off a season where he missed 100 games.


I can’t help but think of Robert Plant: Ooh, and it makes me wonder.

I applaud Alderson for doing… something.

The Mets are a better team than we were just a couple of days ago. And even though we’ve been waiting all winter… even though we’ve been waiting nearly 30 years for a championship…  even though we’re going on a decade since our last post-season… we’ll still have to wait some more to see how the Granderson signing plays out.

Hopefully this movie will have a good ending.


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Curtis Granderson Agrees To Four Year, $60 Million Deal With Mets Fri, 06 Dec 2013 19:00:32 +0000 Curtis+Granderson

The Mets have agreed to sign free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year deal according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the deal is worth $60 million dollars or a $15 million annual average.

Andy Martino of the Daily News added that the deal is a straight 4-year deal, per source. No option of any sort for 5th, vesting, team or otherwise.

The Mets will lose their second round pick, but that’s no big deal if Granderson delivers 25-30 homers a season for the Mets as they believe he will.

Sandy Alderson apparently relented and gave into Granderson’s fourth year demand which came as a surprise to me. However, Sandy did what he needed to do and gave the 32 year old Granderson what he wanted to get a deal done. If he had let him go to Orlando unsigned, I doubt he would have been a Met.

Granderson suffered a couple of freak injuries last season and was limited to just 61 games with the Yankees, batting .229/.319/.407 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in 245 plate appearances while striking out 69 times.

In 2012, Granderson played in 160 games and another 156 games in 2011. Over those two seasons he compiled 84 home runs, the most in the majors.

The newest Met is expected to play left field I would suspect, pushing Eric Young Jr. out of a starting outfield job. If the Mets move him to second base, it could signal a Daniel Murphy trade which would free up about $5 million for the Mets.

Regardless of what happens, the Mets made some real noise in the free agent market for the first time in a very long time. For that I applaud them.

Original Post 9:00 AM

Nothing new to report this morning and all remains quiet between Granderson and the Mets.

The latest update came yesterday afternoon from Mike Puma of the New York Post who wrote that the Mets believe they have a “decent” chance of landing Granderson. This begs the question, how is that a “decent chance?”

Both sides seem at a standstill with Sandy Alderson holding firm at three years, while Granderson still wants four.

Usually when a team and a free agent get locked into a game of chicken, the free agent usually wins.

With the Winter Meetings starting in 48 hours, the Granderson camp will hold court in Orlando and bring 2-3 more teams into the negotiations.

After all, that’s what agents do and you could make a strong case that Granderson is the second best outfielder available. That’s not a bad spot to be in when you have at least 15 teams on record for needing an outfielder.

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Mets Extend A Three-Year Offer To Granderson Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:00:26 +0000 curtis-granderson_600


According to WFAN/CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Mets are believed to have offered free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson a three-year deal.

Heyman also reports that Granderson is looking for a five-year deal and that the 32-year-old outfielder is seeking $17 million per year.

It’s interesting watching how this is evolving.

About an hour ago I actually posted on Twitter than if I were Granderson’s agent, I’d probably advise him to wait until Carlos Beltran signs his deal and then demand a 4-5 year deal.

As was reported earlier, the Mets were only planning to offer three years.

That an offer was actually extended, indicates that talks may be settling down for now, while Granderson’s agents get back to some of the other teams that have reached out to him. This is what all agents do. They shop offers and try to get a better one.

No word yet if the Mets have asked for a right of first refusal, or even if three years was their final offer, but these things have a way of leaking out sooner rather than later.

(Updated 12/4 1:00 PM)

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When Did Dumpster Diving Become Inspired Genius? Sun, 01 Dec 2013 18:10:54 +0000 I had an interesting conversation with a someone whose profile tabbed him as a baseball expert. The guy was also a die-hard Met fan. I found him to be representative of most of the Met fans I know from Mets Twitter. I thought I’d kill some time late last night and chatted with many of my now 8,000+ followers.

It all started with “I thought you said the Arroyo meeting with the Mets rumor was false? Not according to Adam Rubin.” I merely responded with “we’ll see.” About 20 minutes later the news came out that the Mets had no intentions of meeting with Arroyo and that the rumor was untrue. “As you were saying?” I asked. No reply.

“You’re crazy, no way Arroyo will get three years”, as I just posted the breaking news that Phil Hughes had signed with the Twins for three years. “Yes, you’re probably right, what was I thinking,” as I chuckled at home.

But let me get back to our baseball expert.

It’s amazing what great lengths some people will go to just to be right. You can hit them in the face with a John Buck style punch pie filled with whipped cream and facts, but damn it, there’s no way they are wrong. It’s impossible. It kind of reminds me of a few people right here in our MMO community.

It all began with this tweet from me:

Joe D. - Remember when Sandy Alderson said he had 25 pitchers on his wish list last month? It must be down to 13-14 pitchers by now and shrinking fast.

Die-Hard Mets Fan – Worst thing you could do is spend big money on average players. We should spend wisely not just spend.

Joe D. - Give me some smart buys for this offseason?

Die-Hard Mets Fan - Honestly, not many out there, but I’d rather not have more Jason Bay contracts. This is not a win now team, patience.

Joe D. – Champions cant be gun shy and afraid to take risks because of one or two bad decisions. Fear is a bad strategy.

Die-Hard Mets Fan – I’d like to see Nelson Cruz, to me he’s a big bat and worth the money.

Joe D. – I’d like to see Cruz too, but likely 4/$60 or more on a PED user. You in? That’s “Jason Bay” money.

Die-Hard Mets Fan – Jason Bay was never a power hitter like Cruz, he’s also produced off PED’s. I’d take the shot on him.

Joe D. – Bay was not a power hitter like Cruz???

Joe D. - He led the American League in SLG%, HR, second in RBI before Mets signed him.. Four 30+ HR seasons. What do you mean he wasn’t a power hitter?

Die-Hard Mets Fan – You do realize he played in Fenway right? #bandbox

Joe D. – Last season, Ballpark at Arlington – HR Rate .903 Rank #19, Fenway Park – HR Rate .845 Rank #23. In 2009 Fenway ranked 26th in HR, Arlington ranked 4th in MLB.

Die-Hard Mets Fan - Go deeper bud, you need to take into account right hand hitters only.

Well, you get the picture…

Fact is, every ballplayer is overpaid and it’s been that way for over five years, open your eyes and your minds for crying out loud. There are no upfront bargains.

garbageRolling the dice on some fish bones you pulled out of the trash in January that ends up having a solid season is not a mark of genius, nor is it uncommon. All 30 teams have stories to tell like that.

When a homeless person grabs a brown bag out of the dumpster and inside he finds an unopened, still wrapped Twinkie that’s as fresh as the day it was made, that’s not genius, it’s luck.

I wish some fans would stop harping on who they like, then do a complete 180 after they sign elsewhere. It’s so transparent and it impresses nobody aside from possibly your own inflated ego.

Either learn how to work and deal in this new free agent market that is here to stay, or do everybody a favor and go the hell home. Nobody wants to see beggars at a banquet.

I’m sick and tired of these damned Metsian pity-parties and half-assed attempts to make paint this Mets apocalypse as some sort of inspired genius when it’s only a joint effort by the front office and ownership to dupe your gullible selves into thinking this is a strategy when the word for it is simple – poverty.

For all of you who believe that Chris Young was some sort of piece for the future, and I know there’s thousands of you out there, I’d bet anything that if he has lets say 15 homers and 40 ribbies by middle of July – who the hell believes that – he’ll be traded for some minor leaguers.

Then the high-kicking chorus lines spouting genius will be on full display again, even though the Mets are not one step closer to a championship or even relevancy at this point.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat…


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MMO Exclusive: Debunking A Myth Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:12:47 +0000 Debunking a myth – how the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A´s have built perennial contenders as small market teams

With the Mets caught in a massive financial restructuring and – apparently – unable and / or unwilling to compete for high-end free agents this winter, the Tampa Bay Rays & Oakland A´s are often referred to as models of how you can win with a small payroll.

And indeed, both teams have had stunning success over the past couple of years, both winning 90+ games in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. The Rays did it with payrolls in the $57 to $70 million range,  and the A´s with payrolls of $59 to $68 million. Meanwhile, our New York Mets  – who haven´t won 90+ games in back to back seasons since the days of Mike Piazza & Bobby Valentine in 1999 & 2000 – finished 74-88 in each of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. A closer look shows that with payrolls between $90 and $100 million in 12-13,  almost half of it was allotted to sunken costs like Jason Bay & Johan Santana, so essentially if you leave out those two relics, the Mets actually spent a bit less than the small market Rays & A´s, but that´s not the point of this post.

What I´ll try to explain is that there´s a myth that these two teams were supposedly built in a miraculous way of signing inexpensive scrap heap veteran players  that suddenly outperformed all expectations. This is wrong. Sure, both teams have rarely spent significant money on veteran relievers, realizing that this is a place where it´s more efficient to go cheap – be it from within or the scrap heap. And both did well with a couple of inexpensive free agent pickups, most notably the A´s with RHP Bartolo Colon and 1B/DH Brandon Moss, and the Rays with 1B James Loney. But those players were certainly not the reason they succeeded. It was mainly done via drafting or trading for prospects and developing them properly.


1. How The Rays Were Built

The Rays M.O. has been to build around pitching recently. And that´s not only in terms of winning with pitching on the field but using pitching to the advantage of filling holes via trades.

Take a look at some of the key members of the 2012 / 2013 staffs:

LHP David Price – Drafted  # 1 overall in 2007

LHP Matt Moore – Drafted in round 8 in 2007

RHP Alex Cobb – Drafted in round 4 in 2006

RHP Jeremy Hellickson – Drafted in round 4 in 2005

LHP Jake McGee – Drafted in round 5 in 2004

RHP Chris Archer – Acquired as a prospect from from the Cubs in 2011 in exchange for young RHP Matt Garza (after 4 years of team control) who had been acquired with the Rays 2003 first round pick Delmon Young a few years earlier.

LHP Alex Torres – Acquired as a prospect out of High-A Ball from the Angels at the 2009 trade deadline for LHP Scott Kazmir (after 4 years of team control) who had been acquired for…, err, won’t get into that.

To summarize: This staff was mainly put together by strong drafting between 2004 and 2007 and by trading for prospects between 2009 and 2011.

Now, offensively, the Rays were more mix & match and not as deep structurally. That said, the M.O. remains similar:

3B Evan Longoria – Drafted  3rd overall in 2006 draft.

CF Desmond Jennings – Drafted in round 10 in 2006

IF/OF Ben Zobrist – Acquired as a prospect in 2006 from the Astros for former Rays All Star third baseman Aubrey Huff.

RF Wil Myers – Acquired as a top prospect in 2012 from the Royals for RHP James Shields (after 5 years of team control) who had been an undistinguished 16th round pick by the Rays in 2000; this trade has also brought in RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Mike Montgomery from KC who may eventually help the Rays pitching staff going forward.

LF Matt Joyce – Acquired as a prospect in 2008 by Rays for young RHP Edwin Jackson (after 4 years of team control).

SS Yunel Escobar – Acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2012 for OF prospect Derek Dietrich, the Rays 2nd round pick in 2010, reversing the prospect for veteran path for a change.

To summarize: This offense was built around drafting well in 2006 and trading major leaguers for prospects between 2006 and 2012, plus trading a prospect for a proven major leaguer last winter. And of course, aided by signing useful veterans like James Loney, Jose Molina and Kelly Johnson who rounded things out.

The Rays have been built around a plethora of strong players drafted 6 to 9 years ago and players mostly acquired as prospects turned into good major leaguers. It does serve as an indication for the time frame it takes to build a team like this, of course. By the way the 2004 to 2007 Rays won between 61 and 70 games per season…

Yoennis Cespedes

2. How The Oakland A´s Were Built

To avoid the post becoming too lengthy (and with my 2 year-old daughter about to wake up), I´ll try to keep myself short. But please remember that the post “Moneyball” (1999 to 2006) A´s finished at or below .500 between 2007 and 2011 and was widely expected to finish below .500 again in 2012 – before winning 94 games, seemingly out of nowhere. Unlike the Rays, the A´s 2012 / 2013 weren´t mainly built via the draft – but they were built by heavy trading for prospects…


Yes, Bartolo Colon was an almost R.A. Dickey type revelation, seemingly out of nowhere.

And half of the A´s rotation was actually drafted – A.J. Griffin (round 13 in 2010), Dan Straily (round 24 in 2009) and Sonny Gray (round 1 in 2011). But key pieces of the staff were acquired in trades:

RHP Jarrod Parker and RHP Ryan Cook in a trade for former 2006 2nd round pick RH Trevor Cahill

LHP Tom Milone in a trade for LHP Gio Gonzalez

LHP Jerry Blevins in a trade for C Jason Kendall, way back in 2007

Disappointing LHP Brett Anderson came in a trade of RHP Dan Haren  who himself can be tracked back to trading former stud LHP Mark Mulder to the Cardinals.

To be fair, another key contributor , RHP Grant Balfour was signed as a free agent. But overall, you can track the main pieces of the Oakland A´s staffs to drafting & trades of quality starters  Gio Gonzalez, Dan Haren (and previously Mark Mulder) and Trevor Cahill.


Trades. Trades. Trades. Oh, and Coco Crisp & Yoenis Cespedes as free agents for more than Sandy Alderson has paid to anyone as Mets GM so far and Brandon Moss as a nice scrap heap pickup. But again, you´ll see that the trades of Gio Gonzalez, Dan Haren and others played a key role here:

3B Josh Donaldson – acquired from the Cubs in a trade of former ace Rich Harden (a 17th round pick by the A´s in 2000)

OF Josh Reddick – acquired from the Red Sox in a trade of former closer Andrew Bailey (a 6th round pick in 2006)

SS Jed Lowrie – acquired from the Houston Astros in a trade for prospect 1b Chris Carter who  had been part of the Dan Haren trade and for RHP Brad Peacock who had been part of the Gio Gonzalez trade; by the way, Gio Gonzalez had been acquired for “Moneyball” 2002 1st round pick Nick Swisher in 2008….

2B Eric Sogard – also acquired for a piece from the Dan Haren trade, OF Aaron Cunningham, Sogard was actually drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2007…

C Derek Norris – also acquired as part of the Gio Gonzalez trade after the 2011 season

OF Seth Smith – acquired in a trade with the Rockies of waiver pickup and LH Josh Outman (who himself had been acquired for “Moneybal” RH Joe Blanton)

OF Chris Young – acquired for SS Cliff Pennington, the A´s 21st round pick in 2005

So summarize:

Large chunks of the A´s offense can be tracked to the trades of almost an entire rotation of Dan Haren, Rich Harden, Gio Gonzalez, Joe Blanton and Mark Mulder essentially.

What to conclude from all this?

Inexpensive playoff teams aren´t built around picking up veterans from the scrap heap. They are built the traditional way by good scouting & player development. You can build a strong cost-efficient team by drafting well and some trades (Rays). You can build a strong cost-efficient team by drafting ok but trading very well (A´s).  It also shows that this approach takes quite a while. And that the groundwork of winning in 2012 & 2013 was mostly laid several years ago and actually the key contributors mostly entered pro-ball between 2004 and 2008. And if you´re asking for a reason why the Mets have struggled over the past 3 to 5 years ? It´s because they failed to add enough significant players between 2004 and 2008 AND have been unable to outspend those neglects recently.

But if you want to win without spending money, you need: a) patience – as it takes about 5 to 7  years before players that are brought in as amateurs will reasonably be productive in the majors. And b) to either draft and/or trade well to land those players.

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Rays Could Have Interest In An Ike Davis For Matt Joyce Swap Sun, 17 Nov 2013 16:33:46 +0000 Matt+Joyce+Baltimore+Orioles+v+Tampa+Bay+Rays+pM0JjhjevSMl

Earlier today I suggested that the Mets could acquire their most significant piece via a trade rather than free agency where skyrocketing prices have made the front office a little queasy.

One team that could be a good match as a trade partner for the Mets would be the Tamp Bay Rays, who may have some interest in Ike Davis.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, sees Davis as an interesting buy-low fit for the Rays writing:

After hitting 32 homers for the Mets in 2012, Davis started badly last year, was sent to Triple A for a month and finished with rough numbers: .205, nine homers, 33 RBIs, 101 strikeouts, a .661 OPS in 103 games.

But the Rays, who drafted but didn’t sign Davis in 2005, would have to be intrigued by the potential lefty power, plus getting three years of control and a somewhat reasonable cost — an arbitration projected $3.5 million salary.

That’s about the same as Matt Joyce is to make, and the Mets seek a corner outfielder, though the Rays need lefty power.

Joyce is a right fielder who has averaged 18 home runs a season over the last three seasons. He could be a solid long part of a platoon in right for the Mets and at the same time clear up the logjam at first base while allocating Davis’ $3.5 million salary to an area of need.

On Thursday, WFAN’s Mike Francesa said that Ike Davis wants out of New York. Francesa said he spoke with Davis during the All Star break and Ike said he wanted to leave. The former Met first rounder believes the fans have given up on him and the team has given up on him.

Adam Rubin also got the sense from a Mets executive that that Ike Davis is a goner and that other teams view him as a decent bet for power with a change of scenery.

]]> 0 Mets Don’t Love Mark Trumbo Tue, 05 Nov 2013 16:08:34 +0000 trumbo

I don’t know about most of you, but a few of us on MMO let out a collective sigh of relief when we read the following from Andy Martino of the Daily News:

The Mets don’t love Mark Trumbo and they’ve never shown any interest in Peter Bourjos.

I see Trumbo as an Ike Davis with more consistent power, but a worse glove. I couldn’t imagine giving up a Jon Niese for someone like that… Especially when you consider that he’ll likely take a big hit hit offensively by playing half of his games at Citi Field.

What a disaster that could end up being…

No thanks…

Original Post

As the realization slowly sinks in that Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury will be too costly for the still downtrodden Mets, the talk inevitably shifts to trading for a legit outfielder instead.

Of course trading for any player who can provide the type of offense the Mets are looking for means that what you don’t shell out in tens of millions, you’ll end up paying for with elite prospects.

Baseball is a give and take business and quality begets quality. There’s no team out there looking to take broken down parts like Ike Davis and Jordany Valdespin off of our hands in return for a big cog. Ain’t happening… The real world does not operate as it does during sportstalk call-in segments.

MLB Trade Rumors wrote today that Mark Trumbo could bring the Angels a nice pitching haul if they decide to move him. Los Angeles is bent on bolstering the rotation with MLB-ready arms. That doesn’t mean Rafael Montero, Darin Gorski or Noah Syndergaard, it means Zack Wheeler or Jon Niese.

MLBTR said the Halos fielded calls from the Mariners, Pirates, and Royals in July and the Marlins showed interest in Trumbo last December. If he is available, and most baseball analysts say it’s a certainty, he’ll garner plenty of interest.

At 27, Trumbo has averaged a 2.6 WAR over the last three seasons, and in 2013 he had career highs of 34 home runs and 100 RBI. However, his batting average dipped to a .234 and his on-base has rarely hovered above .300. Still, if you’re desperate for right-handed power, Trumbo’s your guy.

Michael Branda wrote something for us on Trumbo a couple of months back in which he assessed the current Mets situation at first base.

The Mets find themselves in a real tricky spot heading into 2014. Whether we like it or not, what we thought was a sure thing – is now far from it. The Mets have no answer at First Base anymore. It’s a rare moment when a franchise goes from thinking they have a cornerstone franchise type player to build around, to having nothing good to hope for.

Look, I really have no problem with Josh Satin – but he’s not an everyday big league first baseman. I’m not willing to wait until June 2014 to see if Ike Davis is the guy we all thought he could be. No matter what he does from this day forward, we’ll know absolutely nothing about Davis until next summer – and I don’t think the Mets can afford to do that. So, unless the idea of Wilmer Flores at first base is a reality, the Mets need a first baseman for next season and beyond.

In his article, he correctly tabs Trumbo as a one-dimensional player – something most Met fans have been accustomed to for a very long time.

Trumbo is now hitting arbitration for the first time, and he’s expected to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $4.5 million.

I recently asked another of our writers, XtreemIcon to share his thoughts, to which he replied:

We’ve all heard of five tool players, but Trumbo is a one tool player. He has huge, prodigious, Hammer of the Gods type power, but you cannot trade Thor for him or any starter that projects to crack the rotation in any regard, let alone a top-of-the-rotation type starter.

Trumbo is a very poor major league ballplayer. He’s at best a platoon DH, given his terrible fielding, limited speed on the bases and career OBP under .300. I say “at best” a platoon DH because he actually doesn’t have any significant platoon splits. He’s a bad hitter from both sides of the plate. He’d be worse than Jason Bay in many aspects. Bay, to his credit, was a disciplined enough hitter during his prime, and Bay only cost money.

So it would seem the consensus here at MMO would be that Trumbo is most certainly not the player the Mets should be targeting once their attempts to target Choo and Ellsbury prove futile.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Featured Post: Selling High & Buying Low – The Sandy Alderson Philosophy Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:39:37 +0000 Over the last few seasons, Sandy Alderson has managed the team’s budget with an approach conservative enough to make the Republican party envious. Some love the strategy and some hate it but with each passing sub .500 season, his tactics are becoming increasingly questioned.

Most of the fan base understood the reasoning behind trading away Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey regardless of whether they were in favor of the trades or not. Many fans were frustrated that while prime time free agents and trade candidates were changing home addresses, the Mets were relegated to signing has-beens such as Chris Capuano, Chris Young, Shaun Marcum etc. I also would not doubt that when news of Jose Reyes taking his talents to South Beach made its ways around the Flushing faithful, a quarter of Mets nation temporarily quit their fanhood.

Unpopular as his moves are, I believe there is a positive angle we can all take from this. For the first time in recent memory, the Mets have a clean financial slate to work with. No Bobby Bonilla (sort of), no Mo Vaughn, no Oliver Perez, no Jason Bay. Many fans will point this out as reason enough to make a splash in the free agent waters. There are some intriguing names out there and if they are available for the right price, the Mets should not let past mistakes affect their current judgment.

However, due to a weak free agent class, I am inclined to believe that the price tags for any toys the Mets want this winter will likely not be worth the production they can receive from them. With Hunter Pence setting the market at 5 years/$90 million and Scott Boras representing both Choo and Ellsbury, Boras’ starting point for negotiations will certainly be north of $100 million.

Instead, I see Sandy Alderson continuing his march on the economical route, going after clubhouse veterans and acquiring players that may have fell out of favor with their current squads. I am a strong believer in the buy low theory - when you buy low your return could be significantly larger than your investment. A change in scenery and/or a team’s necessity to move surplus players can lead to some high potential rewards.

Here are some of the free agents Alderson’s assistants may present to him:

Rafael Furcal - SS

Coming off Tommy John surgery, Furcal missed the entire 2013 season. Known for his top tier defense before his injury, Furcal’s ability to perform on the field and at the plate is a huge question mark. Can he get play adequate defense and get on base at a serviceable .325 clip? I have not yet given up on Tejada but I am not sold on him either and Furcal may be the best option to motivate Ruben and serve as insurance for him as well.

David DeJesus - OF

(TBR team option 6.5 mil or 1.5 mil buyout) When the Cubs put Dejesus on waivers in August to shed his salary, the Nationals were the first in line on the waiver list. Figuring that contending AL teams would have interest in his services, the Nats claimed him and promptly traded him to Tampa Bay for Matthew Spann, a C/C+ prospect. Dejesus figures to be a quality 4th outfielder and may have mutual interest with the Mets if Captain Kirk or Matt Den Dekker is traded. Once again, the expectation here would be for Dejesus to provide some veteran leadership and insurance to a young outfield.

Curtis Granderson - OF

Only an injury season removed from back to back 40 HR campaigns, Granderson will hear some interesting sales pitches from just about every team. He will have plenty of offers. The Mets won’t have any advantage bidding for his services but it is not unreasonable to think that he may outperform Choo and Ellsbury next year for half the price.

John Lannan - LHSP

The Long Beach, NY native had mutual interest with the Mets last offseason after being non tendered by the Nationals. He eventually signed a one year deal with the Phillies where he pitched inconsistently throughout an injury riddled year. Before the Nats bought up and bought in their influx of young pitching talent, Lannan was their top starter in 2011. I believe he still has a chip on his shoulder for being left off their opening day rotation just a year later and I would be more than happy to provide Lannan an opportunity to make the Mets team and disperse his rage onto his former teams.

Jason Marquis - RHSP

Another New York product, I believe the Mets were also in discussion with Marquis following the 2011 season. Nothing much has changed since then. He still eats innings and he still pitches as inconsistently as the outcome on a roulette table. Considering the Mets just need to stall till June when two of Montero, Degrom, Mazzoni, Syndergaard, Verrett are ready, Marquis may be the most ideal option as he has experience working as a long man out of the pen as well.

Keep in mind, these should not be the only players that the Mets should seek this offseason, but rather players that could make sense as discount signings.

In my humble opinion, the Mets have too many question marks entering the 2014 season for any acquisitions they make to automatically elevate them to contenders. Other than David Wright, Daniel Murphy and maybe Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, the Mets really have no idea how their players will perform next year. The time to make a splash is when your team has a core that is solid, and when the circumstances allow for it. As of now, I would say neither of those apply. The Mets’ core is far from established and the market conditions are far from friendly. So for the time being, I’m in favor of Alderson being a Scrooge for just another season.

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Jeff Wilpon Fields Questions On Mets Offseason Wed, 30 Oct 2013 00:24:51 +0000 At an event to support a community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy a year ago today, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon was among several representatives from the Mets who were in attendance at a Garfield, New Jersey school. While there, Jeff Wilpon fielded questions from Mets beat writers about the team’s plans for the offseason, the outlook for next season, and of course their financial state.

Mike Kerwick, The Record - Jeff Wilpon said Mets are not handcuffed in any way this offseason. He also said team did not make an offer to Abreu. He also said team has theories for club’s awful home record. He did not divulge those theories. He is not worried that Harvey will rush back from surgery. Said it was important he got it done before Dec. 1.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News - David Wright, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler are the only players solid in their positions for 2014, all other spots are up for grabs. The Mets have a glut of first basemen and teams have inquired about one of them although he didn’t mention any names. The Mets plan to spend the money that is coming off the books this offseason. That would be about $45 million between the Johan Santana and Jason Bay contracts alone that are off the books.

Marc Carig, Newsday - Jeff Wilpon confirmed that the Mets did not offer Jose Dariel Abreu a contract. He also noted that had Abreu been a corner outfielder things might have been different.  Message from Wilpon much the same as last offseason. Says Mets are working without financial restrictions of the recent past.

Thoughts from Joe D.

No surprise on Abreu, their interest was never serious and I said there was no chance they’d make an offer…

Notice that Daniel Murphy wasn’t mentioned as player whose job was safe… That’s a bit surprising… Wonder what Murphy’s thinking…

No doubt the first baseman getting interest is Ike Davis, and as I’ve maintained, he won’t be a Met in 2014 even if it means selling low… They will not give $4 million to a player who won’t be starting for them in 2014…

I’ll believe they’re spending when I see it… No reason to believe anything that Jeff and Sandy say on that front… I’m working on a piece about that and will explain more. I can’t believe none of the writers asked him about that huge debt payment coming up in June… Would have loved to see how he responded to that…

Because of their financial situation, one that is still tenuous at best, Lucas Duda is still my guess for your Opening Day first baseman… Get used to it…

More later…

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MMO Mailbag: Do You Believe The Mets Will Spend This Offseason? Mon, 09 Sep 2013 15:07:09 +0000 sandy alderson

John B. asks…

Do you really believe the Mets will spend this offseason or that they will contend in 2014?

Joe D. replies…

In a word, yes. I do believe they will spend as they do have many areas they need to address, and they are fresh out of All Star caliber players to trade as well as top performing players like a Marlon Byrd. They will add many players through free agency.

However, I don’t believe they will spend what it will take to land some of the names that are being bandied about like Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and others.

Alderson insisted he has money to spend in free agency during a radio interview this weekend with ESPN. He said he will seek improvements in that market throughout the winter. He also said he is intent on adding a veteran starter regardless of the news on Matt Harvey. In fact, he said he was already planning on pursuing a veteran starter before Harvey was injured and that the only thing that will change now is whether if it’s a number five type starter or a number one or two type.

Despite, what’s been said or reported, I’m not convinced that the Mets will go into next season with a payroll that exceeds $90 million dollars. I just don’t see it.

For three straight offseasons, none of the payroll that was cleared has been reinvested into the team and that’s largely why we’ve seen declining win totals during that span on the major league level. With the Johan Santana and Jason Bay contracts coming off the books, a great deal of that money will go toward raises for current players.

David Wright‘s salary nearly doubles going from $11 million to $ 20 million. Jon Niese also gets a nice boost to $5.5 million. There are also some significant increases expected by players who are due arbitration and chief among them are Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell, Eric Young Jr. and Daniel Murphy, to name a few. Many of them are coming off solid seasons and will get hefty awards or settlements.

The last time he was asked, Sandy Alderson said he had not been given a payroll budget for the 2014 season so even he doesn’t know at this point what his limitations are and how much he has to spend.

One reader brought up an excellent point this weekend and in the comment threads. Although we haven’t heard anything official yet, it’s presumed that the Mets will likely announce that the team had estimated losses of nearly $20 million dollars this season. It’s not bad after two straight seasons of $50 million losses, but it’s still an indication that the hemorrhaging hasn’t stopped. So why would the banks and lenders whom the Mets owners owe so much to, allow the team to take that approximate $45 million dollar windfall from the Bay/Santana contracts and reinvest it back into the team?

Why do you think the money from Beltran, Rodriguez, Reyes, Castillo and Perez was never invested?

When you’re in debt up to your knees like the Wilpons are, those lenders don’t care about the product on the field only that the team stops losing money which puts their loans and investments in great jeopardy. You also have all those investors and owners they brought on when they sold all those shares in the team. They haven’t seen a dime yet on their huge outlays and they too will have a say.

So… do I think they will spend?

Yes, but only as much as it would take to field a somewhat respectable 25-man roster. And much of that money, which I suspect will be between $15-$20 million in total, wont be nearly enough to go after any of the top names in free agency.

As to whether or not they will contend, consider that they probably lost their ace in Matt Harvey, they have questions at first base, shortstop, and two outfield positions. Questions also remain in the bullpen and the bottom of the rotation, and David Wright is another year older. Plus it looks like Travis d’Arnaud, who the team is committed to, may take at least 400-500 at-bats until he’s where this team expects him to be offensively. That was the number being suggested back when he was still injured, and so far it looks like they were right. There’s a great deal to overcome for this team, but there’s no accounting for luck which always comes into play.

As a die-hard Met fan I go into every Spring Training believing we will contend for a postseason spot regardless of how good or bad the team looks on paper.

It oftentimes leads to disappointment, but I love the team and I’ve always taken Tug’s mantra (Ya Gotta Believe) to heart. There’s still a lot that needs fixing on this team – more now than three years ago – so while my brain says no, they won’t contend, my heart says otherwise.

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Should Sandy Alderson Allocate Roughly 10% Of His Budget On Jose Abreu? Wed, 21 Aug 2013 21:39:18 +0000 JoseAbreuWBC

Just read this post on MetsBlog about Jose Abreu, the 26-year old Cuban defector that has been called a better hitter than Yasiel Puig. For the most part me and Matt Cerrone agree that it’s unlikely the Mets will do anything more than show some slight interest in what night be the next great baseball sensation, but ultimately he’ll prove to be too rich for the Mets’ taste.

Here is what I wrote regarding Abreu last week:

I’m afraid that recent history has never shown Sandy Alderson to be the type of GM who will go all-out and beat all bidders to fetch a prize like this. This is not one of those “we’re gonna wait out the market” types of situations which is more akin to Sandy’s style. Which ever team lands this incredible talent, will be the one that is the most aggressive in their pursuit and will offer up the richest possible bounty – anywhere between 5-7 years and $50-$80 million dollars from what I’m hearing.

The teams that will likely be heavily engaged in the bidding war will no doubt feature the usual suspects like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and I bet the St. Louis Cardinals will have more than a passing interest. But one insider expects as many as 12 teams to dip into the pool.

Additionally, Sandy and his purported millions he now has to spend, will likely be looking more at outfielders and perhaps a shortstop as long as he has the Ike Davis situation to still contend with, as well as Wilmer FloresJosh Satin and Allan Dykstra in tow.

I’ll say one thing, whoever does get Abreu, will no doubt be adding a 30+ home run bat into their lineup who has a great eye at the plate and has always produced a high average and on-base percentage. His strikeouts are low which is surprising for a player with such power, but that’s just another reason why scouts deem him to be such a unique and special talent.

One more thing that will make Abreu such a prime target is that this is one of the weakest free agent markets we’ve ever seen for first basemen – with Mike Napoli being the top dog. Bidding will be fierce and as much as Abreu would fill a huge power void in the Mets lineup and finally solve the question of who is our first baseman of the future, I just don’t see the Mets having the stomach to shell out the millions it’s going to take to land this Cuban phenom.

Now there was one thing on Cerrone’s post that made me queasy… It was the way he phrased his poll question on his post. He didn’t ask should the Mets actively pursue Jose Abreu, but the Mets flagship blog asked this question instead:


Ten percent of his budget? Which budget, the $93 million budget or some other budget?

The way that question is phrased sounds more like whether we should spend $9-10 million or more on any one player, rather than a simple pursuit of Jose Abreu.

Now I’m not suggesting Sandy goes out and spends like a drunken sailor this winter, or in his case a drunken jarhead. But I am expecting that we’ll be adding one or two formidable pieces on offense and I would imagine that anything of that quality will cost the Mets much more than $10 million dollars whether it’s via trade or free agency.

Please, after all these years, don’t tell me that Howard Megdal is right and that the Mets will not reinvest one dime from the Johan Santana and Jason Bay contracts that will officially be coming off the books…

Please, Mr. Alderson, you can’t do this to me…

So I hope the way that question was phrased was just another accidental goof and not some Freudian Slip or subliminal hint of what we’re to expect this offseason. An offseason mind you, that we’ve all been waiting for for three long years…

Incidentally, in case you were curious, over 35% percent of MetsBlog readers responded no to Jose Abreu…

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Alderson Preaches Patience, Will Look To Add MLB Talent To Team In Next Six Months Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:12:09 +0000

This morning at Citi Field, Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, and a few of the players, participated in a Q&A session with season ticket holders. We have John Delcos there and will file a full report later, but here’s a quick summary for you to chew on until then.

  • Alderson said that he believes the team has reached the stage where he can begin to add veteran major league talent to the roster now. He expects to add some players in the next six months.
  • Alderson cited that with some of the organization’s top young prospects either here already or coming soon, that now is the time to start filling in the gaps with seasoned major league talent.
  • “What I’d like to be able to do is maybe acquire a player or two who will not only be with us this year but into the future,” Alderson said. “That makes sense and is consistent with what we’ve been trying to do longer term. We’re going to keep working at it and I’m sure you’ll see some different faces between now and say the end of July or the All-Star break.”
  • Alderson described this new strategy as a shift in organizational planning, and they intend to seriously pursue major league talent from outside the organization within the next six months, and that fans should expect to see some new faces between now and the All Star break
  • “I do believe that over the next six months or so we will be in position to make some significant acquisitions, whether it’s through free agency or trade,” Alderson said. “We’re certainly looking forward to that possibility.”
  • Alderson said that while there will larger amounts of money on hand to to invest in these veterans for the short-term, and acknowledged that the team has not gotten the return they wanted on money invested in players in recent years.
  • “When I got here,” Alderson said, “I always understood that I was looking at some of these contracts, from which we were either going to get production, or simply have to wait for them to expire. Now we’re in a time frame where in another half-season, because the players didn’t perform for various reasons (injury to Santana, total ineptness from Bay), those contracts will expire.
  • “Listen: The reality of our situation is that we owe Bay and Johan a total of around $52 million, out of a payroll of about $107 million. One of them is hurt and one of them is gone. But we’re still paying them. When you take away that money, you are talking about a payroll that is in the bottom three or four. For now. That’s not an excuse, that’s the fact of our situation.”
  • Alderson wants to build a team that fans will be happy and proud of and urges just a little bit more patience.
  • “We’re working at it, The problem is, at some point, the best thing you can do is have a little patience and unfortunately I’ve been preaching that for two-and-a-half years and it’s wearing thin. But we’re almost there.”
  • “All I care about is happy Mets fans,” Alderson said Saturday morning, on his way to talk to season-ticket holders, whoever they are at this point. “That is my motive in life. And I know that’s not happening right now. And if they’re unhappy, believe me, I am even more unhappy.”
  • Wilmer Flores could be promoted to the Mets at any time. (Unless Valdespin turns it around quickly, he will be the player that is replaced. – Joe D.)
  • Sandy has no say in whether Gary Carter’s number should be retired, but if it were up to him his number would be on the wall next to Seaver, Casey, Hodges, Shea and Robinson.

(Photo by Mets)

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